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Exportability of an Intervention to Increase HIV Testing in the Veterans Health Administration

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Background: Exportability, or the dissemination of successful health services interventions from one site to another, must be demonstrated before systemwide implementation.

Methods: The effectiveness of a previously successful multicomponent intervention to increase rates of HIV testing in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care facilities among those without records of previous testing was evaluated in two other VHA facilities. Whereas the principle responsibility for the provider-activation component of the intervention was previously borne by research staff, nonresearch staff now took on these responsibilities.

Results: The annual rate of HIV testing among persons with documented risk factors for acquiring HIV infection increased by 5.8% and 16% after the end of the first year of implementation for the sites to which the project was newly exported and where nonresearch staff were responsible for implementation. In contrast, for the original implementation sites, where research staff played a major role in implementation, testing rates increased by 9.3% and 12.4%. There was no change in the rate of testing at a control site. At one site, HIV testing rates increased before implementation of the provider activation aspect of the intervention program.

Conclusions: An intervention to increase HIV testing rates, which combines informatics, organizational support, and provider activation, can be successfully exported and implemented by nonresearch staff and may not require an extensive provider activation program. The resultant increases in HIV testing are similar to those seen in facilities where research staff play an active role. This work provides support for further efforts to refine this program to promote non-risk-based testing for HIV infection, as per current VHA policy and to more broadly implement this program.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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